High Court of Australia

NH v Director of Public Prosecutions [2016] HCA 33

31 Aug 2016

Case Number: A14/2016 A15/2016 A16/2016 A19/2016

Before

French CJ, Kiefel, Bell, Nettle, Gordon JJ

Catchwords

Criminal law – Appeal – Verdict – Not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter – Alleged mistake by foreperson – Requisite majority for verdict of not guilty of murder allegedly not reached – Report of foreperson to court officer disclosing alleged error – Statements as affidavits from jurors – Full Court quashed jury verdicts and ordered new trials on count of murder – Whether presumption of correctness of jury verdicts rebuttable in circumstances – Whether Full Court could reconsider perfected orders in original jurisdiction – Whether alleged mistake was material irregularity leading to unlawful verdicts – Whether alleged mistake by foreperson and acquiescence of jury an abuse of process – Whether inherent power to correct perfected orders in circumstances – Admissibility of jury statements to impeach verdicts – Consideration of distinction between verdict and judgment.
Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA) – ss 350, 351A, 352, 353.

Juries Act 1927 (SA) – s 57.

Supreme Court Act 1935 (SA) – ss 17, 48, 49.
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